Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Biogeochemistry of “pristine” freshwater stream and lake systems in the western Canadian Arctic
Author(s): Dean, Joshua
Billett, Michael
Baxter, Robert
Dinsmore, Kerry J
Lessels, Jason S
Street, Lorna E
Subke, Jens-Arne
Tetzlaff, Doerthe
Washbourne, Ian
Wookey, Philip
Contact Email:
Keywords: Arctic catchments
inland waters
freshwater biogeochemistry
pristine environment
baseline study
permafrost thaw
climate change
Issue Date: Nov-2016
Citation: Dean J, Billett M, Baxter R, Dinsmore KJ, Lessels JS, Street LE, Subke J, Tetzlaff D, Washbourne I & Wookey P (2016) Biogeochemistry of “pristine” freshwater stream and lake systems in the western Canadian Arctic, Biogeochemistry, 130 (3), pp. 191-213.
Abstract: Climate change poses a substantial threat to the stability of the Arctic terrestrial carbon (C) pool as warmer air temperatures thaw permafrost and deepen the seasonally-thawed active layer of soils and sediments. Enhanced water flow through this layer may accelerate the transport of C and major cations and anions to streams and lakes. These act as important conduits and reactors for dissolved C within the terrestrial C cycle. It is important for studies to consider these processes in small headwater catchments, which have been identified as hotspots of rapid mineralisation of C sourced from ancient permafrost thaw. In order to better understand the role of inland waters in terrestrial C cycling we characterised the biogeochemistry of the freshwater systems in a c. 14 km2  study area in the western Canadian Arctic. Sampling took place during the snow-free seasons of 2013 and 2014 for major inorganic solutes, dissolved organic and inorganic C (DOC and DIC, respectively), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations from three water type groups: lakes, polygonal pools and streams. These groups displayed differing biogeochemical signatures, indicative of contrasting biogeochemical controls. However, none of the groups showed strong signals of enhanced permafrost thaw during the study seasons. The mean annual air temperature in the region has increased by more than 2.5 °C since 1970, and continued warming will likely affect the aquatic biogeochemistry. This study provides important baseline data for comparison with future studies in a warming Arctic.
DOI Link:
Rights: © The Author(s) 2016 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Dean-etal-Biogeochemistry-2016.pdf5.89 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.